Meet UNMC Distinguished Scientist Amarnath Natarajan, Ph.D.

Image with caption: Amarnath Natarajan, Ph.D.
Amarnath Natarajan, Ph.D.
NOTE: This profile is part of a series to highlight the 16 researchers who will be honored April 30 at a ceremony for UNMC's 2012 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Amarnath Natarajan, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate professor and associate director of the High-Throughput Screening Facility
  • Joined UNMC: 2009
  • Hometown: Chennai, India

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
My laboratory is focused on the validation of therapeutic targets and developing pre-therapeutic lead compounds. These compounds have the potential to be developed as drugs and also be used as probes to better understand the biology associated with the disease.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Dysfunction at the molecular level leads to various diseases. Understanding these changes at the molecular level will lead to a better understanding of the initiation and progression of the disease. Our goal is to develop compounds (chemical tools) that will facilitate this process. We also consider these compounds to be pre-therapeutic leads that can be developed into drugs.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
"Katrathu Kai Mann Alavu, Kallathathu Ulagalavu," a commonly used quote in my mother tongue (Tamizh) that has been passed down through generations. I have heard this from both my parents at different times for different reasons. When translated it means, "What you have learned is equivalent to the amount of mud you can hold in your hand, and what you have not is the size of the world."

List three things few people know about you.

  • I love the game of chess.
  • I fell in love with my best friend from college and we got married seven years later.
  • Seventeen years ago I moved from a place that had average temperatures that range from 75 F to 90 F to a place that had average temperatures that ranged from 18 F to 70 F.


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    April 23, 2013 at 9:22 AM